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Researchers have discovered several new satellites in the orbits of two planets

Astronomers using ground-based telescopes have found three previously unknown satellites near Uranus and Neptune. One of the satellites orbits Uranus and two more orbit Neptune. The discovery increased the number of moons of Uranus to 28, and Neptune to 16, writes ScienceAlert.

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So far the satellites have not received official names, but according to preliminary data, the satellite of Uranus will be named after one of Shakespeare’s works, and two of Neptune’s moons will be named after sea goddesses from Greek mythology.

“The three satellites discovered are the faintest ever detected by ground-based telescopes. Special image processing was required to detect such faint objects,” says astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

The discovery of new moons around the planets of the Solar System is not uncommon in modern astronomy. As technologies and methods for exploring space improve, science is uncovering more and more secrets.

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Until recently, it was believed that the largest number of moons revolved around Jupiter and Saturn, while Neptune and Uranus remained without due attention. The fact is that the two outer icy planets of the solar system are too far from Earth, which makes observations difficult.

Newly discovered satellite of Uranus S/2023 U1. Photo: Scott Sheppard

A new moon of Uranus was discovered by the Magellan Telescope in November 2023, which was also confirmed by earlier observations in 2021. The moon has been tentatively named S/2023 U1 and is the first Uranian moon to be discovered in more than 20 years.

Its diameter is about 8 km, which makes the moon the smallest satellite of Uranus in the solar system. Its orbital period is 680 days.

The brighter of Neptune’s two moons, designated S/2002 N5, was first discovered in September 2021, and subsequently in 2022 and 2023.

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“After the orbit of S/2002 N5 around Neptune was determined using observations in 2021, 2022 and 2023, it was traced to an object that was seen near Neptune in 2003, but was lost before it could be confirmed that it orbits the planet,” Sheppard says.

The diameter of the object is 23 km, and its orbital period is 9 years.

Neptune’s second moon is slightly smaller and dimmer and was spotted in 2021 using the Subaru Telescope. The object was designated S/2021 N1, and its diameter is 14 km. S/2021 N1 takes 27 years to orbit Neptune.

This discovery led scientists to believe that Neptune and Uranus may have as many satellites as Saturn (146) and Jupiter (95).

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Let us remind you that 62 new satellites were discovered near Saturn . Saturn now has more moons than any other planet in the solar system.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.